CORRECTIONVILLE - The vaunted passing attack led by Kellen Ludvigson is gone. Now, all Newell-Fonda has to worry about is River Valley's running game.
The two teams hook up Friday night in Correctionville. Newell-Fonda coach Brian Wilken is concerned about the Wolverines' running game.
"They've got nice size in the offensive line and it's a senior-dominated offensive line, which of course, is a huge, huge plus - to have that size and be senior-dominated up there," he said.
"In the backfield, they've got a returning starter in Graham Lundt," Wilken added. "He had a big game against us last year. Their quarterback Brock Jensen is an exceptional athlete. However, he doesn't throw the ball better than their all-state quarterback of a year ago. But, still, he is a gifted athlete."
The Mustang defense won't just be focusing on Lundt, Wilken said.
"We go into every football game to stop the run," he said. "That's our No. 1 priority. This week is no different. We have to stop the run first and force them to do something they haven't done as much."
River Valley's size on both sides of the ball up front will present some problems for the Mustangs.
"Offensively, whether or not our offense will be able to move their defensive line off the line of scrimmage," Wilken said. "That is a huge concern. Secondly, whether our defensive linemen are able to hold their own against their big offensive line."
Wilken outlined the important factors for Newell-Fonda to come out on top.
"We're going to have to be able to run the football, and more important, be able to consistently run it," he said. "When we get inside the 30-yard line we have to score. We didn't do that last week. We had opportunities, but didn't take advantage of them. We're going to have to be able to run it, run it consistently, and score inside the 30."
Schaller-Crestland and Pomeroy-Palmer meet in a battle of 2-1 clubs in Early. The Wildcats will have their hands full with the Knights.
"They're a very athletic club," coach Dale Tokheim said. "Their ability and the number of good athletes they have makes them very balanced because they can run and pass the ball."
Pomeroy-Palmer will present a lot of problems.
"They have such quickness on defense that it may be tough for us to get outside on them and yet they'll have nine guys in the box against the run," Tokheim said. "They trust their athletes that they'll get outside and contain you. On offense, they have so many weapons that you don't know who to try and stop."
Schaller-Crestland's best defense may have to be its offense.
"We'll have to try and use our ball-control offense to keep it out of their hands," Tokheim said. "Also, we have to have very few turnovers."